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20 March 2014

IB Global Politics: Academic Conference Call, "Update on the Congo"

(c) 2014 Council on Foreign Relations

When? Wednesday, 26 March from 12 to 1pm.
Where? Room 101.
What do I have to do? Comment on this blog post to confirm your attendance (HL 1 folks, this call should be mandatory) no later than Monday 24 March. I will make the arrangements with your advisors, etc. Please be sure to read & review the links below. You'll also want to plan on bringing your lunch to the classroom. Finally, please prepare at least one discussion question from the readings for us to work through in class OR to ask Mr. Stearns on the call.

Our next Academic Conference Call with the Council on Foreign Relations will undoubtedly be the best one yet. Jason Stearns, director of the Usalama Project at the Rift Valley Institute, will discuss the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Prior to the Rift Valley Institute, Mr. Stearns worked for the International Human Rights Law Group and the United Nations peacekeeping operation Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). Between 2005 and 2007, he was based in Nairobi, Kenya, as a senior analyst for the International Crisis Group, where he worked on the DRC, Rwanda, and Burundi. In 2008, he was appointed by the UN Secretary General as coordinator of the UN Group of Experts on the Congo, which researches the support and financing of armed groups in the eastern DRC. He is currently working on a PhD in political science at Yale University, and is author of the book Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa (New York: Public Affairs, 2011); a book that is on my summer reading list this year.

As background for the discussion, you will want to read and review the following: